When asked to design a bus stop, I had all sorts of ideas and questions. The focus of my design utilized the weather charts and diagrams as analysis for how the bus stop should be orientated and what important factors played a role in determining coverage such as the sun. Not only did I pay attention to the weather studies, but I also was interested in how I could create a bus stop that was both safe and practical for students as well as visitors to use.
I used the psychrometric chart to explore passive and active design strategies that could be used in both winter and summer in Charlottesville to create a comfortable microclimate within the bus stop. These charts showed that sun shading of windows, natural ventilation, and fan forced ventilation were the most effective in obtaining a larger comfort zone (see Figure 1). In the winter months, adding heating was by far the most effective design strategy in creating a comfort zone(see Figure 2). These issues of providing heat in the winter but also keeping the bus stop cool in summer months suggested a design approach that could be adjusted throughout the seasons.
Next, I overlaid the wind charts onto the site and began to draw predicted wind patterns on top of them. In Figure 3, the diagrams show the wind primarily comes from the Northwest and Southwest in the winter months. In drawing the paths I paid attention to buildings that would likely block the site from direct winds but would also force winds to rapidly flow along the east corner of the parking garage stair tower.
For the warmer months, Figure 4 shows that North and South winds were typically wet and made sure to provide protection on these two faces of the facade. However, these winds were not particularly strong and stronger winds approached from the West side of the site.
From these two charts I began to gain a sense of what directions winds would be coming from and the areas that needed protection from precipitation (see Figure 5).
Another important factor in deciding a design approach was the sun. In Figure 6, the path of the sun in elevation is mapped out and buildings that would potentially block the sunlight from the path are shown. Primarily in the warmer months, the sun is much more intense and higher in the sky creating direct sunlight to shine directly onto the site.
Figure 7 shows the sun pattern in plan and also highlights buildings that could block sunlight in the winter on the southeast and southwest sides of the site. During the winter months when the sun is lower, it will be difficult to use the just the sunlight to heat the bus stop through solar gain and other smart alternatives, such as using the wind to power an energy source or that of the train and vehicles to generate heat for the bus station.
From these analysis of weather I began to design my bus stop as triangular object that would stand out to students and bus drivers, but also provide safe sense of enclosure for students and the public to gather. Another important factor was how the bus stop operated at night and also created a safe feeling for occupants. To address these issues, I suggested that there be walkways that are connected to the bus stop and when stepped on use the energy to power the lights of the bus stop. If students are rushing to the bus at night to catch the bus they can press a button that will make the bus stop light up and signal an approaching bus to stop at the stop (see Figure 9).